Monday, March 30, 2009

Don't Tempt Her

Bill has been monitoring temperatures inside the high tunnel and even pulled the row covers back for a while last week when we were slated for mild temperatures. Well I guess that was about the equivalent of packing away your hat and mittens, as far as Fate was concerned. She was tempted.

Snow here again over the weekend. Temperatures ranged from 23 - 40 degrees.

The thermometers above show soil temps under the row covers about 10:30 Saturday morning. The higher temp (73.9) was observed under the plastic cover. The lower (63.7) is what we had under the light woven 'floating row cover' material.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Executive Garden: Arugula In, Beets Out

In the biggest foodie news since the latest Top Chef finale, the White House broke ground on a vegetable garden. The family-size plot is modest at--1,100 feet--and will be used as a hands-on classroom for 5th graders from a nearby school.

Reportedly the garden will include a variety of lettuces, heirloom tomatoes, chard, kale, squash, cucumbers, and peppers. It'll also have a patch of arugula, even though the spicy green is, by multiple accounts, perceived as elitist. Odds are against beets, though, as the Pres doesn't like 'em.

The organic garden will be overseen by assistant White House chef Sam Kass.


Something else is growing in our high tunnel....weeds!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Green Day

It's St. Patty's Day and to celebrate, all my little greens decided to make an appearance. We're seeing mizuna, chard, pak choy, arugula, and radishes--everything from the first planting except the peas.

Row covers are pulled back for now with temperatures in the 60s and maybe even 70 today. Watered Friday, Saturday (thanks Bill), and again today. Obviously we're not getting any natural rainfall inside. All the same, high tunnels generally require less water because evaporation is reduced.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Second Planting

Big thanks to sister Dawn who helped me with our second planting on March 13th. Dawn works at Wittenberg University in Ohio and swung north for a visit over spring break--leaving temps in the 70s behind her. She graciously hauled water while I planted spinach, kale, beets, more radishes, something called cicoria or 'Italian Dandelion', and broccoli raab.

We found low 60s under the row covers behind her, but the thermometer quickly dropped to the 40s when we had the plastic off for watering.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Seeing Green

We saw our first sprouts today! The arugula is the first to show. Found three little green guys just like this. Hooray!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Row Covers

Temps hit 8 degrees last night, but it was still quite comfortable inside the high tunnel when I stopped by this morning. The plastic row covers help stabilize the temperature over the plants, keeping them warm enough during our cold nights. It was 71.3 under the plastic mid-morning today. Bill said temps hit 103 under the covers on Monday--astounding after 6+ inches of snow and wind we got the day before. Needless to say, he is monitoring and pulling them back when necessary.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Seeds in the Ground

It's planting time!!! I got the first seeds in the ground on Friday, March 6. Such a Zen-like morning--working with my hands in the dirt, planning which seeds would go where, hauling water... I can't tell you how much I enjoyed being outside and being productive.

We started with a long row of snap peas, a patch of radishes, and the rest in arugula and various Asian greens. See that packet in front--it says '35-45 days' to harvest. Yipee. Even better, we could begin to see sprouts as early as Wednesday.

Friday morning at 7:30, the weather was 39 degrees outside, and well over 50 inside. Nice and cozy place to plant.